Thursday, May 29, 2014

RWR: MEET KIRK, CREATOR OF SPRNG CLIPS


Today, I'm thrilled to introduce you to Kirk Mosna, creator of the SPRNG clip design for Apple earpods*.  What is SPRNG, you ask?  It is the small, simple, and in my humble opinion, brilliant solution to the earbud fallout problem; an issue that commonly plagues the person who sweats and/or dances while running with music.  Kirk works at OHM, a product research and design company based in Ontario, Canada.  The earbud fallout problem was one of his own pet peeves, so he proposed the SPRNG concept to his design group and thus the SPRNG CLIP was born.  Snap these puppies onto your Apple earbud stems and then adjust the fit by sliding them up or down.  The little elastic clip sits comfortably under the concha of the ear, which is the hollow next to the ear canal.  In other words, like this:


So cool, right?  Not only is Kirk one of the masterminds behind this awesome product, be he is also a runner who rocks.  Clearly, he is the perfect fit for the RWR series.  So, without further delay, meet Kirk.


RUNNERS WHO ROCK: KIRK MOSNA
creator of


Name: Kirk Mosna
Where you're from: Born in North West Territories (Canada) to Italian Immigrant parents who got sick of the freezing weather so moved back to Italy, then got sick of the relatives, they originally moved away from, so moved back to Canada (Hamilton)
Where you reside now: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Age: 52 yrs
Occupation: Industrial Designer
Blog/website: www.ohm.ca

RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running? 
For me, it’s very much like meditation without having to sit still.

What do you love most about music? 
Depending on the music you choose, it can be in the background and allow you to continue thinking and working or when you want it can totally absorb you. Both are great.

PETER TOSH

KIRK'S FAVORITES:
Band (current, all time or both): So many favorites depending on the genre. 
Jazz: Miles Davis /  Nu Jazz: Mocean Worker , St. Germain / Classic Rock: Pink Floyd , Beatles / Alternative Rock: Talking Heads, Pearl Jam / Smashing Pumpkins / Reggae: Peter Tosh
Album (current, all time or both):
Jazz: Miles Davis: Kind of Blue & Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon
Race venue: Trail
Music venue:  Outdoor Festival
Race distance: Short and intense
Show you've seen live? Many but probably most memorable - Peter Tosh at Ontario Place just before he was killed.
Ice cream flavor: French Vanilla


THIS OR THAT:
Sweet or salty?  Both, but can survive without sweet
Live or recorded? Live when it’s really live, Recorded when it’s really well produced (but hate live recorded music)
Coffee or tea?  Coffee
Summer or winter? Summer




MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could?  Talking Heads

Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Miles Davis

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Bob Dylan or David Byrne

Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Janes Addiction

And, finally:
Today, I feel like... my brain isn’t working so I’d like to go for a run or cycling.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?  
Stop - Jane’s Addiction  
Block Rockin’ Beat - Chemical Brothers  
Right here, Right Now - Fatboy Slim  
Buk-In-Hamm Palace - Peter Tosh  
Feel Good Inc. - Gorillaz  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today? 
I don’t know the names of the songs but they were super chilled songs streamed on Soma.FM - GROOVE SALAD

*Fits only  Apple® Earpods™ that are supplied with iPhone 5, 5C, 5S, iPod Nano (7th Gen.), iPod Touch (5th Gen or newer) or Apple Earpod Model # MD827ZM/A.
**A NOTE FROM RWM: I am a proud YURBUDS ambassador.  I run and train exclusively with YURBUDS headphones.  That said,  I have about 10 pairs of Apple earbuds sitting around and I am thrilled to have SPRNG clips for them, as I use the Apple earbuds for many non-running activities.  Yurbuds happily supported my decision to post about SPRNG clips.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

RACE REVIEW: Johnny Kelley 13.1

On Sunday morning I ran the Johnny Kelley Half Marathon in Hyannis, MA.  My in-laws live on the Cape and have always let us know that we are more than welcome to visit. (yes, we are insanely lucky)  The race is easy to get to from their house, so it's a no brainer.  My sister-in-law, Locky, is also an avid runner and we've done this particular race together for the past three years.  My good friend & RB, Kirsten, from Winchester happened to be on the Cape this week-end as well, so I suggested she join us, which she was happy to do.  I like this race for many reasons.  First, the course is fast and scenic as it weaves along the beaches, through the local neighborhoods and finishes in downtown Hyannis.  It definitely gives runners a good taste of the Cape as the smells of the salty ocean air mixed with the strong aromas of fried food from the clam shacks linger for several miles.  Second, the race is logistically easy to deal with; parking is relatively painless, the crowds are light and number pick up is a snap.  And third, it's fun.  The race starts and finishes on the Hyannis town green, which is a big open lawn with plenty of room to spread out and relax.  Runners, their families and friends get to enjoy post-race burgers and dogs along with some live music from a local rock band (think Lynyrd Skyynrd).  The big unknown every year is the weather as you never know what you're going to get on the Cape in May.  Last year, it was rainy and cold and the year before it was humid and hotter than hell.  But this year, we lucked out.  We woke up to a 55 degree morning with overcast skies and no wind.  Perfect running weather.  Ok, back to race morning...Locky and I headed out at 6:30am, grabbing our necessary coffee before scooping Kirsten up and getting on our way.  When we arrived in Hyannis, we got our bibs and went off to find a bathroom. Turns out the bathroom situation was less than ideal with only three port-o-pottys and the town toilets (3 mens, 3 womens) for over 1000 of us.  What??  The lines were really, REALLY, long.  Fortunately the cashier at the 7-Eleven in town took pity on us and let several of us use his bathrooms without making a purchase.  I believe his response after I thanked him was, "I might as well turn the whole store over to you guys."  I didn't really know what to say to that, so I just smiled and waved.  As my 12 year old niece said several times over the week-end, "#AWK".  We headed to the start, said our goodbyes, determined our post-race meeting spot and settled in to wait.  Kirsten, who is currently easing back into marathon training after a brief hiatus due to injury, was planning to treat the race as a training run, putting no pressure on herself for a specific time and hoping only to feel good and enjoy herself.  I had other plans.  After running Boston in a "somewhat" comfortable pace, my legs bounced back pretty quickly, so after a week off, I was able to start back up again with my training. After a short debate with myself over whether to just run this race for fun or run it for time, I decided I wanted to see if I could come in under 1:30.  My PR is 1:29, but that was on fresh legs with a taper, so this was lofty goal, but I figured, why not aim high.  I asked my S-I-L if she would consider pacing me, as she often runs halves in NYC and regularly comes in under 1:30, and she was totally willing.  I decided I would run without a watch and let her do all the pace work, which, in the end, was a bad call, but at the time felt kind of freeing.  We got off to a smooth start and settled nicely into a comfortable pace.  I was feeling strong until the first hill.  The hills are not big or long, mind you, but they are there and they had a pretty strong impact on my exhaustion level.  For miles 6-9, I was getting tired and the doubt began to seep in.  Locky held on to the goal pace and I fell behind but tried to keep her within site.  Fortunately, she was wearing florescent green compression socks, so her legs were easy to spot.  When I hit mile 9 and ate another GU, I got a second wind.  I was able to shift gears and pick it up a little and I still had Locky in site, so I knew I was close to my goal time.  At this point, I was running next to a young and spritely guy who happened to have a cheering section at mile 10, so I was motivated to stick with him.  If I'm being totally honest here, I was also motivated by what I knew I would be enjoying when the race was over.

NUUN + ICED MOCHA =
MOTIVATION

When we got to mile 12, spritely guy reached down and touched the mile marker and then did a fist pump in the air.  This guy was fired up to be done and I was right there with him.  We ran the last mile side by side and then kicked it in, him finishing a couple seconds before me.  My final time was 1:30:17.  So close, yet so far.  But, I was good with it.  I'd run hard, pushed through a tough spot, and powered through the finish.  I could feel the Boston marathon in my legs, the race having been only 5 weeks before, but I could also feel my training and strength from running in general, so they kind of evened each other out.  Lesson learned here?  Always where a watch when you are running for time.  As Locky cruised ahead, I had no idea what my pace was and if I'd known I was that close to my goal time toward the end, I might have tried to dig a little deeper on those last couple miles.  Hindsight is 20/20, right?  Turns out, Kirsten had a great run.  This past winter was crazy for her.  As I mentioned, she was coming off an injury and with family and work taking first priority, her running had to take a back seat.  This was her first race since last year and I knew she was nervous going into it.  She held on to a steady, comfortable pace for the whole thing and when she finished, I could tell that she was psyched about racing again, which is a good thing because we're running a marathon together this fall.  No, but seriously, it was clear that she was re-charged about running in general and I was really psyched that this race had given her such a solid boost of confidence.

Locky, me and Kirsten at the finish.

Finally, after grabbing some freebies (chips, waters, iced teas, etc), we made our way back to the car to get back home and enjoy the rest of the day.  The weather at this point was gorgeous; sunny, warm and dry as a bone.  I spent the afternoon hanging with my own family, my in-laws and my nieces and nephews; swimming, relaxing and getting beaten by my oldest niece in Word Yahtzee.  It was awesome.  The race?  It was already in the back of my mind as I focused on what made these weekends so great every year.

READY, SET, GO!!!!


Listen to this:
Toothless Grin - Jinja Safari

Friday, May 23, 2014

Track, Fashion, Pain Management & New Music


It's been an incredibly long and eventful week.  But, it's also been amazing.  On Tuesday, I watched proudly as the girls on my high school track team flew, literally, to victory; taking first place at their Middlesex League Championship Meet.  Every runner on the team rose to the occasion.  It was brilliant.

Alex, Me (Coach Trax), Virgina & Hanna

I love this shot.  I am always in awe of high school athletes; particularly with their uncanny amount of positive energy.  It's almost tangible.  This was taken at 9:00 at night, after their races in which they had poured their hearts out on the track.  We'd all been on our feet since 2:30.  Just....wow.

&

LHS Girls Track Team (all 110 of us)

On Wednesday, I bee-lined it into Boston after practice for an exclusive Oiselle Runway show at City Sports.  Me and a couple of the high school runners from my team got to model some of Oiselle's latest looks and chat with people about the brand.  Then we ate carrots.  Lots of them.  For those of you who are looking to buy Oiselle duds in the Boston area, all the City Sports stores are now carrying them.  Boo-yah!


Thursday was pretty mellow, aside from the Cortisone shot that I got in my foot to relieve the pain from an inflamed nerve being pressed on by my bunion.  That's wasn't amazing.  But, the pain free feeling afterwords was, so it's a wash.

And now it's Friday and we have a long week-end.  Double high fives all around.  Added bonus?  I have just discovered that Lykke Li's new album, "I Never Learn", was released in early May.  I saw her live here in Boston a few years ago and she completely blew me away.  As expected, this album does not disappoint.  Go check it out.


Finally, in addition to enjoying a long week-end with my husband's side of the family on the Cape, I'll be running the Johnny Kelley half marathon this Sunday with my sister-in law and running buddy, KH. In the earlier part of this week I was not so sure I would be able to pull this off, but after my cortisone injection I'm feeling grrrrreeeeeat!  Ah, the power of medicine.  Okay, this might be wishful thinking, but we've run this race for several years and we always have a good time, so there's that.

Make sure to tune in to RWM next week as I'll be giving away a pair of Yurbuds Inspire Pro headphones as well as profiling another musician for the RUNNERSWHOROCK series.  So much good stuff!

Have a stellar week-end.  Don't forget to hug your kids, mom, friend, dog...whoever.  Hugs are nice.

Listen to this:
No Rest For The Wicked - Lykke Li  

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

SHOE REVIEW: ASICS GEL-ELECTRO 33

Last week a representative from ASICS reached out, asking if I'd like to give the new GEL ELECTRO 33s a try.  As you can imagine, I was totally pumped.  You're lying if you tell me your a runner and you wouldn't get excited if you got the chance test drive a new pair of kicks, free of charge.  I immediately wrote back and let him know that I was totally game for giving them a go and that I was very grateful for the cool opportunity.  How did he find me, you ask?  Turns out he stumbled on this blog and my passion for both running and fitness (her words) captured her attention.  In addition, he felt that RWM embodied the ASICS "Better Your Best" mantra.  Well, I'll be dammed, I thought to myself.  I was both floored and flattered that writing about what I love could lead to such great things.  Guess I'll keep writing.  Okay, so on to the review.  Here's my 2¢.  Huge thanks to ASICS for connecting with me.  Always happy to oblige.

ASICS GEL ELECTRO-33 NATURAL RUNNING SHOES


First and foremost, these shoes are ridiculously badass looking.  Am I going to purchase a shoe based on how it looks?  Well, if I am being totally honest here, sometimes I do.  It doesn't necessarily mean that I will run in them every day, but you can bet I'll be wearing them if they look good on.  So, based on looks alone, these babies are a winner.  Now, onto the important stuff.  I wore these shoes for a 12 mile run, for a speed workout, and for an easy 4 mile cruiser.  The first thing I noticed when I ran in them was how light they were.  I typically train in the Saucony Ride, which weighs in at 8.5 ounces.  The Electros are almost like slippers, weighing a mere 7.1 ounces.  The difference was huge on the road and likely the closest I'll ever come to barefoot running.  The second thing I noticed right off the bat was the roomier toe box.  I'm used to feeling a bit cramped in that area, which doesn't bother me because it's what I know.  That said, having my toes comfortably spread out a bit as I cruised along was a very pleasant sensation and it was nice to have the extra room for a change.  They have solid cushion in both the heel and the toe, but I definitely noticed it more in the forefoot, particularly during the speed workout.  I had some good spring in my step during each repeat and though I know it didn't change my speed, it did make me feel faster.  I'll take that any day.  Being used to a heavier shoe with more heel support, I struggled a bit on the long run as I felt as though I didn't have the cushion I needed toward the end of the run.  That said, I'm not familiar with this lighter shoe, so perhaps it just made me nervous.  Someone like my Oiselle teammate and good friend Ellen M., who trains and runs in the New Balance 1400s, would be used to this lighter feel and might even find they have too much cushion.  Clearly, it's a very personal choice and we all have our own priorities when it comes to the fit of our shoes.  In a nutshell, I found these shoes light, airy, and very comfortable.  And, as I mentioned, I freakin' love the way they look.  Moving forward, I will be wearing them for speed work, shorter runs and for races up to a half marathon.  But, I will probably hold off on using them for my long runs and in the marathon.  So, big thumbs up for the ASICS GEL-ELECTRO 33s.  At a reasonable $110, they are totally worth it and I highly recommend giving them a shot.

Listen to this:
Keys - Hooray for Earth  

Monday, May 19, 2014

IT'S MONDAY: A TOP 10 & PLAYLIST



It's Monday.  I'm dragging.  I have a hard workout ahead of me.  And then I have the rest of the day to deal with.  What to do?  Make a playlist, of course.  There is no rhyme or reason to this puppy.  And I'm cool with that.  Hopefully you are, too.  Happy Monday.  Rock on.

TOP 10 REASONS TO MAKE A PLAYLIST ON MONDAY
1. Because I need to wake up. And coffee tastes better with music.
2. Because I'd rather listen to music than make school lunches.
3. Because making a playlist is ridiculously fun and easy.
4. Because doing this simple task always puts me in a better mood.
5. Because I need some serious motivation for my workout.
6. Because you might want some good tunes to brighten up your day, too.
7. Because I need something to focus on other than how tired I am.
8. Because it's better than complaining.  And it takes much less energy.
9. Because music makes everything easier.
10. Because it's Monday.  So, why the hell not?


PLAYLIST: MONDAY MOTIVATION

I Promise - The Generationals  
Noche Nada - The Givers  
I Could Go - Oberhofer  
Dojo Rising - Cloud Control  
Drop the Game - Flume, Chet Faker  
Warm Water - Banks  
Raiders -  Owl Eyes  
You're Too Cool - The Zolas  
Young - Air Review  
True Loves - Hooray For Earth  
Where the Kids Are - Blondfire  
When I Look in Your Eyes - Opus Orange (feat. Chelsea Williams)  

Note: Check out this playlist and more on Spotify.

Friday, May 16, 2014

CRAZY LUCKY

“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.” 
~ Phil Collins

Post-race shenanigans w/ my LHS runners

Yesterday, on the way to school, the song Dark Horse by Katy Perry came on the radio.  Both my girls started enthusiastically singing along.  I, myself, did not sing, but I was happy to throw in some dance moves, easily succeeding in both embarrassing my 9 year old and cracking my 7 year old up.  Amazing what one song can do to elevate the mood and energy in our car.  We had a funny conversation after the song was over.  Here's how it unfolded:

Rosie: Mom, did you know Katharine (their cousin) knows all the words to the rap in that song and can sing it perfectly?
Me:  No, I didn't know that.  That's amazing.
Grace: I want to be a rapper when I grow up.
Me: Wow.  Really?  A rapper?
Grace: No, wait, a doctor.
Me: Oh, that's a great job, Grace.  You would be a fantastic doctor.
Grace: Actually, I want to be a babysitter.
Me: Well you can be a babysitter when you're younger.  You're great with little kids (ie. the 2 and 4 year old that she entertains down the street).  You'll be a natural.
Grace: (after much thought) So, I want to be a rapper, singer, babysitter, doctor when I grow up.
Me:  That's awesome, Grace.  Do it. 
----> insert a little chuckle to myself as I picture my daughter dressed as a doctor and moonlighting as a rapper.  She does have a flare for it, right?

Katharine & Grace, rocking out.

Me: So, do you want to know what my dream job is?
Rosie: A running coach?
Me: Yep. Turns out I have my dream job.  How cool is that?  
Grace: You always wanted to be a coach?

The mile "dream team", in shock after crushing their PRs.
(one of my favorite coaching moments)

Me: I've had lots of different jobs.  But, in the back of my head, I always had coaching as the place where I wanted to end up.  Aren't I lucky?
Rosie: You're crazy lucky, mom.
Me: Yep.  Crazy lucky.

LHS D-SQUAD runners, Emma, Steph & Caroline


Listen to this:
The Heart That I'm Hearing - Galantis  

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

RWR: MEET SPENCER


"What I like most about it is that it can be something so superficial 
and light and makes you just want to dance and it can also be something 
so powerful and emotional it can bring you to tears."
~ Spencer Blohm

Today I am fired up to introduce you to runner, rocker and freelance writer, Spencer Blohm.  Some of you may recall the name, as he has written a couple guest posts for RWM within the last year.  But, I'll give you a little back story just in case.  Last July, Spencer reached out to me, asking if I had any plans to do a post in honor of the great Jack White since it was his birthday.  I am, indeed, a huge fan of Jack White, but I was not prepared to do a specific birthday post so I eagerly asked Spencer to take the reigns; which he was happy to do.  (Click here to check it out).  A few months later, Spencer did another post, this one running related, to celebrate the release of Lady Gaga's second album.  Hands down, one of my favorite posts and worth a read if you missed it.  (Take a look here)  Clearly, Spencer has a lot to say about music, running and all things pop culture.  So, it should come as no surprise that when I created the RWR Series, he was one of the first people that came to mind as someone I wanted to feature.  I haven't met him in person, but I have no doubt that he's a cool cat and that he'd be really fun to chill with.  The fact that ABBA is one of his favorite bands ...well, that kind of sealed the deal for me.  So young, yet so wise.  I'll leave it at that and let Spencer tell you the rest.

RUNNERS WHO ROCK: SPENCER


Name: Spencer Blohm
Where you're from: Northwestern Iowa (no point in saying the name of the town because anyone who doesn’t live there hasn’t heard of it)
Where you reside now: Chicago
Age: 22
Occupation: Freelance entertainment, fashion and sports blogger for social media monitoring and analytics company ViralHeat.com.

RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running?
I love that it’s something I can use as an escape, both from myself and from other people. When I’m running I usually can get into this zone where I’m able to tune out the rest of the world and think about whatever I want to.  Also, the runners high is a nice perk too.

What do you love most about music?
I come from a pretty musical background. I’ve played the viola for nearly 15 years and sang in choir during middle school, high school, and college, so music has always been a big part of my life. What I like most about it is that it can be something so superficial and light and makes you just want to dance and it can also be something so powerful and emotional it can bring you to tears. There aren’t many things that can do both those things.

The one and, by far the only, ABBA

SPENCER'S FAVORITES:
Band:  It’s probably a tie between Abba and Queen.
Album: I honestly cannot pick a favorite album, I love so many! But right now I’ve been listening to Kiss Me Once by Kylie Minogue a lot since it just came out.
Race venue: I haven’t been in a real race in years!
Music venue: I really like the Riviera Theater up on the north side. It used to be one of those really elaborate movie theaters they converted.
Race distance: I’m hoping the answer to this will be half marathon by the end of the summer!
Live show: Madonna during her last tour. Seeing her live is insane. She is a true athlete because she never stopped jumping, running, flipping, etc… for the whole show, but in heels!
Ice cream flavor: Ben & Jerry’s Red Velvet




THIS OR THAT:
Salty or sweet: Sweet
Live or recorded: Depends on the singer, but usually recorded
Coffee or tea: Coffee!
Summer or winter: Summer





MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could?
I’ve heard Beyonce’s new tour is really great, so I’ll say her.

Which band or artist (no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Queen

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? 
The Rolling Stones, can you imagine the stories they have to tell?

Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Probably Queen again. What could beat Freddie Mercury playing “Eye of the Tiger” right next to you?

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Such a hard question to answer, but these songs have been in multiple running playlists of mine:
I Feel Love - Donna Summer  
Get Outta My Way - Kylie Minogue  
Black Skinhead - Kanye West  
Marry the Night- Lady Gaga  
Crazy in Love - Beyonce & Jay-Z  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Drive - Miley Cyrus  
Ride a White Horse - Goldfrapp  
Fine - Kylie Minogue & Karen Poole  
Alphabet Pony - The Kills  
Justify My Love - Madonna  

Friday, May 9, 2014

THANKS MOM

“The more a daughter knows the details of her mother's life 
[...] the stronger the daughter.” 
~ Anita Diamant, The Red Tent


Dear Mom,

Thank you.  For always being one of my biggest supporters.  For believing in me, especially when I didn't believe in myself.  For worrying about me, particularly when I wasn't worrying about myself, but probably should have been.  For always helping me get where I needed to go, both mentally, physically and (until I could drive myself) literally.  For expecting the best from me because you knew you could. For letting me make my own decisions, even when you thought, or knew, they might not be the right ones.  For helping me get through it when they were wrong without saying "I told you so".  For always "getting it" or taking the time to figure it out when you didn't.  For going to every game, every meet, every banquet, every bake sale, every concert and every other (often painful) sports or school related event that I asked you to go to with a smile on your face.  For knowing that it meant so much to me that you were there, even though I probably did a crappy job of showing it.  For calling, emailing, writing or visiting for no particular reason, but just because you could and, more importantly, because you wanted to.  For loving my own kids as much as you love me.  For letting me know that you would do, literally, anything for me without having to say it.  For being you.  You are a rock star of epic proportions.  And I am insanely lucky.

Happy Mother's Day.

Love,







Listen to this:
Ten-Twenty-Ten - Generationals  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NO AGENDA


This past Sunday I woke up late.  Because I could.  And then I drank some coffee.  Then I did some other things of little importance.  Looming in the back of my mind was the fact that I wanted to get a short and easy run in.  I wasn't eager to go, per se.  But I wasn't dreading it either.  Let's just say it was on my "to-do" list and I was finding lots of ways to procrastinate.  In truth, I was tired.  I'd been with my LHS runners at the Weston Twilight track meet the night before, running around like a chicken with my head cut off for 6+ hours, and I hadn't gotten home until 11:30pm (which you know is mad-late for me).  I considered bailing all together on the run, but then, running often has a strange way of re-booting me for the rest of the day, so I knew I needed to just go.  Two hours and three cups of coffee later, I was ready to hit the road.  It didn't hurt that the weather was perfect.  Something I will never, EVER, take for granted again after this winter.  It was warm, with some good cloud cover, and a light breeze.  After a few heavy steps, I found my groove, both with pace and my music.  As I hit my second mile, I felt light on my feet in a way I haven't felt in quite some time.  I caught myself smiling at nothing in particular as I jogged pass the CVS window in Medford.  What, I wondered to myself, was going on?  And as I cruised along, it hit me.  On this particular day, for this particular run I had NO AGENDA.  I also had no time constraints, no pressure, no worries, no stress, no aches and/or pains, no race crowds to deal, no car traffic to weave through, no rain/wind/snow to bitch about, no....well you get the point.  None of it.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.  This run was just for me.  And it was f'in amazing.  I like to train.  I really like to race.  Sometimes, I hate them both, too.  That's okay.  Maybe only a crazy nut-job runner, such as myself, can appreciate this notion.  But, thankfully, there is something about just plain running that always brings out the best in me.  And I love that.  You get it.  Right?

Listen to this:
Champion - Donora  

Monday, May 5, 2014

REVIEW: DAVID WAX MUSEUM

Give me something
So good and true
So good and true
That it hurts 
~ David Wax Museum, 'A Dog in This Fight'


Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing David Wax Museum at the Sinclair in Cambridge.  I'll be the first to admit that it's not easy for me to motivate on a Tuesday night; particularly when I know the band won't be coming on until 9:30.  But, that said, lead singer Suz Slezak is a new mom and the baby is on tour with them, so what the hell do I have to complain about?  She's the one not getting any sleep.  I had no excuse, I had to motivate.  To make it easier, I called a couple friends who are always up for some good, live music, and dragged them with me.  We grabbed a quick bite at the Sinclair Kitchen before the band came on.  I should note that this is a fantastic restaurant, and even though the bartender didn't seem to like us (no idea why), we had an excellent meal.  Then we headed next door for the show.  The band dove right in with Vivian, an upbeat, donkey-bone enhanced (yes, Suz plays a donkey jawbone) ditty that makes you want to drop everything and cut a rug.  And from there, we were off.


The band is comprised of the husband and wife duo, David Wax and Suz Slezak along with David's cousin, Jordan, and a few other members who filter in and out depending on the song.  Their music is primarily folk rock with Mexican Son and Americana influences.  Between the trumpet, Suz's shell and violin, the mandolin and the accordion, it's a total harmonic explosion.  Within minutes, I felt like I had been transported to Cuba and was listening to the band outside at a street cafe under the night sky.  The chemistry between David and Suz was tangible and it coolly seeped out into the crowd, steadily bringing our buzz to a new level with each song.  Suz's voice is so smooth it almost drips like honey.  Her sweet, songbird vibrations are the perfect accompaniment to David's deeper and sometimes rusty, drawl.  From their manager, Nate Erwin, I later learned that the band originated in Somerville, MA and that David and Suz met when they started playing together.  As I mentioned, they now have a 5 month old little girl who happened to be sleeping in the green room as they played.  I know this because about halfway through the show, the band paused between songs and Suz slipped out, letting us know that she was going to quickly check on the baby.  No joke.  Clearly, the baby has no problem sleeping through noise as David and crew immediately jumped right back in with Yes, Maria, Yes at full volume, happily keeping the rest of wide awake and on our toes.


After the show, I got to spend a little time with David and Suz.  I'm going to have to agree with Jason over at the No Surf Review who claims that they "may well be two of the chillest, most grounded, most genuine people in the music industry."  They love to play, they love their band, they love each other and they love the crowd.  And all of that showed on Tuesday night.  It was one of the most eclectic, high-energy, knee slapping, foot stomping shows I've seen in a while and, as I often am at the end of a good live music session, I was legitimately sad when it was over.   I think I can say the same for the ladies who came with me.  (for the record, it was midnight when we left, which is crazy late for all three of us)  After the last song in the set, as we waited for the encore, someone shouted, "God bless live music".  Amen to that.

Listen to this:
Harder Before It Gets Easier - David Wax Museum 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

APRIL SHOWERS....


I'm pretty sure it's spring here in the Boston area.  It doesn't quite feel like it yet, but it....um...well, it smells like it?  Okay, a bit of a stretch, but I'm doing my best here.  Is it strange that I was wearing a down coat, wool hat and gloves at our track meet yesterday?  A little.  Regardless, it is, indeed, May.  And the sun will show itself eventually.  So on to new things.  With the Boston marathon behind me, I can re-focus a bit now.  This month I'll be dedicating the majority of my time to my family, my job, my friends....basically my life beyond running.  My husband is turning 40, my LHS runners have some of their biggest meets ahead of them, and my own girls will be ripping it up on the soccer fields and finishing up at school.  All good stuff.  Sure, I'll be out on the road.  But for a few weeks, at least, I'll be running for the simple joy of it.  No training.  No racing.  Just cruising and taking a much needed break from the rigors of daily workouts.  It's going to be a great month, don't you think?  Here's what I have on my "to-do" list. 
MAY 'TO-DO' LIST
LOOK! Stuff is blooming.  For real.

~ Stop and smell the flowers.
~ Throw a huge shin-dig for my husband's 40th.
~ Brace myself for the end of school. (less than 5 weeks...what??)
~ Catch up and hang out with my neighbors at the Edgehill wall.
~ Guide my high school runners through the end of their season.
~ Go see David Wax Museum at the Sinclair in Cambridge.
~ Visit with the in-laws and cousins on Cape Cod for Memorial Day week-end.
~ Celebrate being a mom.
~ Pray for warm weather.
~ Run just to run.
~ Sleep late on Sundays.
~ Sit back, relax and listen good music. 

Hold tight, everyone.  May flowers are coming!
  
MAY MUSIC OF THE MONTH
SONG:
Move - Pacific Air  


ALBUM:
Distraction - Bear Hands